Story Story uses the medium of radio and the strategy of edutainment in an effort to tackle domestic issues, hopefully contributing to a public debate. The drama explores topics such as poverty, governance, rights, and HIV/AIDS; it also focuses on specific development issues that inform the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), such as the empowerment of women, education, and environmental sustainability. Broadcast on more than 50 stations around Nigeria and on the BBC World Service, the drama is currently being produced in Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo versions.
Set in a busy fictional market in the heart of West Africa, the series features characters - traders, farmers, people with money and power who inhabit the market - that aim to give a voice to real people. Stories - from debt to romance, piles of rubbish to holes in the road, and self-help to community spirit - entwine these characters as they try to earn a living in the ever-bustling world of the market.
In an effort to make the drama as relevant as possible, the series is written, performed and directed by Nigerian talent. Rather than recording in a studio environment, the series is recorded on location - a strategy designed to create "a unique broadcasting sound" through scenes recorded in an open courtyard, corridors, and open fields "with the winds blowing." (Click here to visit the Story Story website, where one may read more about the characters and listen to episodes online.)
Story Story is supplemented by a discussion and debate programme called Talk Talk. A radio programme that has been expanded to television, Talk Talk takes topics from Story Story and looks at the impact they have in real life. Each programme uses an excerpt from the drama and also features a location report from around the country. One of the key strategies is to put ordinary Nigerians in touch with people in power, asking what everyone can do to make their world a better place. The idea is that real stories are the most effective way of exploring a subject and making the programme interesting, while still raising important development issues.
Economic Development, Democracy & Governance, Health.
In November 2006, Talk Talk won the Africast 'Best Producer Radio' award. The programme was also nominated in the 'Best Radio Programme' category. The Hausa-language version of Story Story was also nominated for the Best Producer Radio award. Story Story won the Best Drama award at the Africast awards in 2004.
Voices, the larger project of which Story Story and Talk Talk are a part, is a collaborative project carried out by the United Kingdom (UK)'s Department for International Development (DFID) and the BBC World Service Trust.
May 2007 update: The BBC World Service Trust is looking for sources of funding for new Story Story series, but episodes produced to date are still being rebroadcast through 40-odd partner stations of the BBC. Organisers are also working to develop outreach activities to support the programming, which will include listening clubs, the production of extension materials to be used in schools, and user-generated content to be included in the programme. In addition, they hope that Talk Talk, the discussion element which follows the drama, will become a locally co-produced phone-in show to allow for more involvement by the listeners.
BBC World Service, Department for International Development (DFID).